It’s easy to take for granted the steel containers that quickly move by as we wait impatiently in our cars for a train to pass. As children you may have even made a game of it, counting the containers as fast as you could, trying not to miss a single one. It’s easy to overlook that in 2017 nearly 90% of everything purchased has been shipped inside one of those containers.  We forget that only 61 years ago these containers didn’t exist, and neither did their impact on global commerce and international trade.

Each year over 500,000 containers are abandoned and repurposed into something else. It’s simple to recognize a shipping container that has been repurposed into a house, a swimming pool or even a pop-up coffee shop. What we forget- or may not even know- is that the arrival of these containers revolutionized the shipping industry and how we now expect to receive goods.

For thousands of years, ways of shipping products across the oceans remained the same until the invention of containers. The following infographic takes a look at some of the important points in the history of the shipping container.

History of Shipping Containers Infographic

Here at Pac-Van, containers are a big part of our business, so we think the history of how they came to be such prevalent and popular shipping and storage solutions is fascinating. Let us know how we can help provide you with one of these containers for your next project.  Whether you’re looking to buy, rent or modify a shipping container, the team at your local Pac-Van branch can help.